Parents

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    • #18009
      Student
      Participant

      Hi,

      I had asked this question in a comment approximately 3.5 hours back but I didn’t recieve any reply on my email. So I think there is a problem with comments tab.

      I have a big problem that I hate almost everybody because I find myself much superior morally and ethically to everybody else around me, my parents included.

      Also I can’t respect my parents because they are very low on intelligence. Or I may say that I am much more intelligent then people around me. So I continuously disrespect them. And can’t stop myself from doing so as I have been pitted against idiots. What should I do ?

    • #18010
      y not
      Participant

      Student,

      ‘pitted against idiots’ you say, Student? And do you think that is by chance? Or worse, by some error? The first is out of the question, and if it were the second you would have left your mother’s womb even before birth.

      As to the hatred of your parents…hatred , outright, unmitigated hatred is a harsh word. Do you know how much time it took to ‘choose’ (unknown to even yourself) your mother out of the vast number of women waiting to become mothers? The conditions you are in now give you the opportunity, ARE the very opportunity, to tackle these two problems of big-headedness or high-mindedness and, in your case, (the resultant) sense of hatred towards one and all.

      I had this problem myself in my teenage years; the first ,not the one of hatred (to be sure). I saw myself as too intelligent compared to those around me. (In primary school the principals had me ‘skip’ a year because I was too advanced for the other boys my age). Then something happened in my personal life that caused me see myself as the most miserable of creatures – shattered, broken with no interest in any future, wanting to die. My ‘intelligence’ did not help. It may in fact have been the cause, at least to some degree. Lesson learnt.

      I think you get it

      Much Metta

    • #18011
      Student
      Participant

      Hi y not !

      You said that you were shattered because of some tragedy. You said that possibly your intelligence had some role to play in it. Ok. But what is the lesson in it for me ? How can I respect my parents (who are low on intelligence) when they are trying to be in the role of a parent ?

    • #18012
      Student
      Participant

      When they are incapable to understand me.

    • #18013
      Student
      Participant

      And do almost everything in a poor way.

    • #18014
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Student,

      It seems that you are under stress because you think that everyone around you is inferior to you. That could be true in an “academic” sense.

      But another factor that comes into play is one’s moral standing. I am not making any judgement, but just pointing out facts. I obviously have no idea of your academic or moral standing. What I am saying is that it is possible that your parents may have good moral standing, even if they seem to lag in intelligence.

      Also, as y not pointed out, sometimes one’s high opinion of oneself could block one from seeing the true nature. No matter how much we accomplish based on just the intelligence, that cannot provide a long-term solution to the “problem of life”. One dies and starts all over again, and that next life could be a bad one if one makes mistakes by doing some immoral things.

      What I am basically saying is that even if your parents are intellectually inferior to you, you should not look at them with contempt. They are the ones who gave you chance to be human. It is possible that you have not yet read some posts about gandhabba and the 10 types of micca ditthi.

      It is important to respect and take care of one’s parents: “The Deep Kindness of Parents“.

      Without a moral basis, all other accomplishments are eventually meaningless. One is born into a certain environment because of what one has done in previous lives. If we are not careful, we could be subjected to even worse conditions in future lives, or even within this life.

      On the other hand, just because one is born into a given environment, one does need to be stuck there. Many people who were born poor, have been able to come out of poverty by their own efforts. But a moral foundation is critical in order get to a long-term solution.

      Some things to think about. Life is not simple. There are many competing factors that come into play. May be we can suggest more, when we get to hear more about your situation.

    • #18015
      Tobias G
      Participant

      Hi Student, when you learn and comprehend the Buddha Dhamma the pancanivarana will get reduced (five hindrances). With that a lot of wrong views and bad behaviors will also vanish.

      I guess the dosa nivarana is strong in your personality. Dosa needs the opposite, which is metta (loving kindness). You should cultivate metta bhavana over time. After a few weeks or months more compassion will arise, compassion with all beings. You can see that we all are in the same boat, lost at sea. And we need help. Your wrong view about your parents will be removed at that point.

    • #18036
      y not
      Participant

      Student,

      My apologies for replying so late.

      Normally I do this on purpose (not in this case though; I was kept away from home by unforeseen circumstances) to allow for the possibility that the replies of others may, first: see the question from a higher, or at least either from a totally different or a more comprehensive, perspective than mine ; and second: that that in turn may indicate to me anything in my reply that was not quite correct ( I am a student too !) – then I can formulate my subsequent answers better, both to my own satisfaction, but more importantly, to the fuller benefit of the questioner.

      You ask what the lesson is for you from what I said. Now please read ‘from what we said’. Lal and Tobias have expounded on it, the latter rendering some key points into Dhamma terminology. -” Lal: ‘They are the ones who gave you chance to be human.’ My second para was all about this. That is where being ‘too high in the head’ is a hindrance. It blocks the heart. Now it NEED NOT to. But from where most of us stand, it does. Even given that they may be complete idiots, still, think of all they have done for you. Who else can give you so much?

      I mentioned elsewhere that ‘the seat of the mind and that of the heart’ lie close together’ I learned this only from Dhamma, or, I should say, I learned about it only from Dhamma. I knew it when I experienced it. The Buddha was the All-Knowing One as well as the ALL-Compassionate One (though that knowing was not the result of hard thinking, but of SEEING, after the entire process of purification had cleared the way- the intelligence came in after as a tool, as it were,in order to formulate and expound it all into intelligible language). This is what I get . Someone correct me if that is not (quite) so.

      So the point I would like to get across, Student,is , quoting Lal: No matter how much we accomplish based on just the intelligence, that cannot provide a long-term solution to the “problem of life” The solution to that ‘problem of life’ involves both the head and the heart, thinking and feeling. One gets to the point where one ‘feels’ one’s thoughts. Tobias has it all in two lines, and as a practical course of action to follow I cannot do any better: ‘Dosa needs the opposite, which is metta (loving kindness). You should cultivate metta bhavana over time’

      Much Metta

    • #18037
      Akvan
      Participant

      Hi Student,

      Firstly, it is good that you have seen that thinking of others as less intelligent or as idiots is bad and you are looking at how to get away from this type of thinking. I guess all of us have this type of thinking at varying levels. This is called uchcha maana.

      We have to realise that each one of us have been in this samsara for an infinite amount of time and thus would have had numerous types of lives. The Buddha says that each one of us at one point or other would have been in all the different realms (except those realms reserved for anagamis). Which means we have been in the lowest hells, been animals of all kinds, been kings and beggars in the human realms and also been in deva and brahma realms.

      So there is a high chance that you would also have been just like those surrounded by you at one point in samsara. You would have been the idiot, you would have been the parent with low intelligence and so on. With that in mind, are you (in this present life) in a state to judge others, because you would have been worse than them at one point or other.

      Another point is that you are intelligent not because you like to be. You are intelligent because of a whole load of causes, which made you intelligent. Most of these causes would have occurred in past lives. In the same way the others are less intelligent because they had the causes to be less intelligent. Do you think they like being less intelligent? I doubt it. May be they don’t realise that they are less intelligent but they definitely wouldn’t like to be less intelligent. So you need to remember that given the causes you ended up being more intelligent than them. You also had the causes to be in the midst of them.

      Finally, this is a good time to reflect on the anichcha nature of the world, i.e. things will never be the way you like it to be. You would like to be surrounded by intelligent people but you are surrounded by idiots. That is simply because the world will never be to your liking. And when it is not the way you like it to be it causes you to be stressed and angry i.e. dukka. You can reflect on aniccha and anichche dukka sannas.

      Hope this helps.

    • #18038
      Student
      Participant

      Hi All,

      Thank you very much for your replies. I will try to use these tips.

    • #18039
      Student
      Participant

      Hi Akvan,

      I don’t know how to know about aniccha and anichche dukka sannas.

    • #18040
      SengKiat
      Moderator

      @Student said: “I don’t know how to know about aniccha and anichche dukka sannas.”

      You get to read all about anicca, dukkha and anatta at this section : Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta

      With metta.

    • #18042
      y not
      Participant

      Hello Student:

      I had typed exactly what SengKiat is suggesting but had to leave the keyboard. Purpose served all the same. I had however added to refer also to the Q & A ‘s in the forum AFTER that. People come up with ideas and questions based on their own understanding and I do not see why it will be any different with you.

      As you have seen already by now, we are all here to help, each according to his/her level of understanding. It is much. Just how much you will find out soon enough if you keep at it. Be grateful. There is a way out. But it will be YOUR doing; (even) Buddhas can only point the way.

      Much Metta

    • #18069
      Student
      Participant

      Yes thank you all for your support. ????????

    • #18092
      firewns
      Participant

      Hi Student,

      As a student of academic psychology, I have learnt that our thoughts can influence our feelings, but our feelings can also influence our thoughts. If I am correct, Buddhism more or less explains things in much the same way too. In paticca samuppada (something like a cause-effect cycle, expounded by the Buddha), sankhara (which are thoughts and volitions) paccaya (give rise to under suitable conditions) vedana (which are feelings) through other links, and vedana can also paccaya sankhara through the same links in reverse order.

      While Lal has given you some food for thought in a general sense and from a different perspective, Akvan seems to have approached your problem from the forward order of sankhara paccaya vedana (anicca and dukkha sanna) , while Tobias and y not seem to have suggested approaching your problem from either the forward order of sankhara paccaya vedana or the reverse order of vedana paccaya sankhara (I cannot tell which order metta bhavana falls under).

      As for me, I will also try to help you with some ideas of my own (with help from Lal and The Buddha).

      Think back to the times when your parents had shown their care and concern for you, even if in only small gestures or words. Surely there must have been times when you were touched by them? I would like you to reignite those memories and loving thoughts for your parents again and bring them to the forefront of your mind. You will need to suppress hateful thoughts with love. Once you have recalled those times, keep them in your memory and heart. Then think back to those times you might have got into an argument with your parents because you thought that they were incapable of understanding you. In the post ‘Kammattana (Recitations) for the Sotapanna Stage’, under #12, it is written ‘…If one had (even inadvertently) done a bad deed to someone that day, one could be thinking about that person and ask for forgiveness. This is a very effective way to calm the mind and reduce tensions… If done sincerely, one should be able to see the effects in real life. You may notice that the tensions with that person automatically reduced… What happens is that those strong javana citta that you generate can produce cittaja rupa that can affect that person even over long distances’.

      Before you finally conclude that your parents are incapable of understanding you, perhaps have you examined any role that you may have had to play in this? For example, have you refused to let them into your world because you thought that they could not understand you? But if you do this, how can they even enter your world to understand you better? It is important to examine these things objectively and non-judgmentally, and not to let defensiveness and other negative emotions get in the way of an honest assessment, if you would like to see things more clearly as they are in reality.

      I think the Buddha said that hatred cannot be conquered with hatred, but must be conquered with love. This can apply to non-enemies like family members you may feel friction with too. The Buddha also may have said that one solution to ease such hostile feelings is to give a gift to the other person(s) one is having problems with.

      This gift could be a material gift or it could be in the form of a friendly and sincere help such as making coffee for them. Engage the othe person(s) in the gift-giving too. Ask them to reciprocate if they are willing to. If so, you will be able to experience the effects of gift-giving from both the perspective of the giver as well as the receiver.

      What were your thoughts when you were giving the gifts? How did you feel after giving the gifts? How did you feel when you received any gifts? What thoughts did these feelings trigger in you? Ideally this internal reflection will activate both the forward and reverse processes of sankhara paccaya vedana as well as vedana paccaya sankhara. The combined results of both processes could be very strong, not to mention the myriad other effects this could spin off. For paticca samuppada is complex, and the more links there are, the more varied and possibly stronger the effects can be. Engage in performing helpful services or giving material gifts every day if possible. You may be amazed at the results one day.

      One more thing: I think the merits of giving gifts depends on the receiver as well. Not many are more qualified to receive gifts to than our parents, who have enabled us to attain a human body which is an extremely hard result to obtain. Therefore, if I am not wrong, sincere gifts offered to our parents without any ulterior motives, while knowing that such acts will bear good fruits, are highly meritorious indeed.

      Do let me know if you have engaged in any of the tips I have suggested, and if they have been effective over a period of time. I sincerely wish you all the best! :)

    • #18145
      Student
      Participant

      Hello Lal Sir !

      I tried reading the link you shared about the deep kindness of parents. It lead me to this page-https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/filial-sutra.htm

      I feel that this can’t be Buddha’s words as it has a major flaw. The number of bones in a fully developed foetus is told as 360 which is actually 270. So I feel that some ignorant person has added this sutra to the tipitaka later.

    • #18146
      Lal
      Keymaster

      You are right! It is a Mahāyāna sutra that was written in Sanskrit (not a Pali sutta).

      About three hundred years after the passing away (Parinibbana) of the Buddha, Mahāyāna emerged in India, when they started writing their own sutras.

      One way to check whether it is a sutra or a sutta is look for Sanskrit words in the sutras. For example, the one you quoted starts with:
      “Thus I have heard, at one time, the Buddha dwelt at Shravasti, in the Jeta Grove, in the Garden of the Benefactor of Orphans and the Solitary, together with a gathering of great Bhikshus, twelve hundred fifty in all and with all of the Bodhisattvas,..”

      The Pali words for those highlighted Sanskrit words are: Savatti, bhikkhus, and Bodhisattas.

      Some other prominent Sanskrit words are: dharma (for dhamma), karma (kamma), nirvana (Nibbana).

      So, it is not hard to distinguish between Pali suttas of Theravada and Sanskrit sutras of Mahāyāna.

      This and other historical facts are discussed in the section: “Historical Background“.

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